Social enterprise entrepreneur and investor Geoff Gourley has today launched One10, a Melbourne accelerator and incubator dedicated to social enterprise startups, with the launch of coworking spaces around the country dedicated to the sector to follow.
One10 has been designed to support the needs of startups focused on the social and environment space, as well as those in the not-for-profit sector. Programs at One10 will run over 12 weeks, giving participants seed funding and access to mentors and industry experts with the goal of making them investible by the end of the 3 months. They will also have the opportunity to tap into Gourley’s Impact Investment Fund, a $100 million fund launched in June, for further funding.
Gourley said he and his partners decided to start and fund the program in order to support Australian entrepreneurs trying to positively impact social and environmental change through business.
“Businesses are increasingly looking to social and environmental benefits in addition to shareholder equity as benchmarks for performance. We need to support these organisations in their infancy to avoid losing innovation to overseas investment,” he said.
Gourley and his partners founded NuGreen Solutions, a business focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and solar power three years ago, and it was through that experience that Gourley learned about creating a profitable venture that also made a positive social and environmental impact. It was this experience that made Gourley passionate about the potential for social enterprise.
Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said providing local startups working in the social enterprise space with resources will help address important social and environmental issues in Victorian communities.
“Organisations like One10 have an important role in building the sector’s capacity and developing innovative and technology based solutions to these problems,” he said.
One10 has signed on Ernst & Young as a sponsor to help grow its community. EY is set to work with One10 to provide services, experience, and connections to promote and improve the skills of its community and create new relationships that will help the startups achieve their goals.
The launch of One10 follows the announcement earlier this week of another coworking space set to open in Melbourne early next year. Thanks to a partnership with Dimension Data, Creative Universe will be opening Dimension5 in South Melbourne, a hub open to “entrepreneurs, innovators, creatives, social enterprises; small businesses, not-for-profits; disruptive teams from large organisations and others who want to connect with a passionate community of game-changers.”
One10 is currently accepting pitches.